Police interrogation of arrested gangsters will now involve getting details of their social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Signal and Wickr – as well as their financial transactions, in a bid to tap into their networks and get details of their associates. This was conveyed to the force by Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana.
The decision to upgrade the interrogation procedure comes after the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala in May, as several teams of the Delhi Police Special Cell were not aware of those working under jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi – the prime accused in the case – and their latest social media handles, it is learnt.
At a recent crime review meeting, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Hargobinder Singh Dhaliwal made a presentation before the Police Commissioner and said that additional information should be incorporated in the interrogation report of members of organised gangs. He also shared proformas and asked the IOs to find out details of social media IDs managed by the arrested person and IDs of affiliated gang members.
“The IOs should ask the arrested gangster about the IDs of social media accounts and passwords, and if possible, ask the arrested accused to login. The IOs should check their phones and scan all installed social media apps. They should also go through browser history to check if they visited any social website,” a senior police officer said.
Dhaliwal, in his presentation, also asked IOs to check financial details of the arrested accused. “The IOs should know bank and PAN card details of the arrested gang members; they should also scan call detail records (CDRs) for financial transaction messages, and check their phones for financial banking apps,” the officer said.
The Special CP also asked DCPs of all district and specialised units to send PAN card details of the accused to the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND), an organisation under the Department of Revenue, and also check how many bank accounts are linked with the PAN card.
“The IOs should ask the arrested accused about their cryptocurrency usage and check their phones for installed cryptocurrency wallets and exchange applications – WazirX, Binance, Coinbase, CoinDCX and Kuber,” the officer said.
Recently, the cyber cell of Rohini district police had busted a fake call centre where they caught four men from Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh, who allegedly duped people on the pretext of giving them loans and converted that money into cryptocurrency.
With cyber fraudsters taking the cryptocurrency route to work with their associates in foreign countries and simultaneously hide money trails, police are alerting investigators to closely look at phones, and specifically crypto apps, whenever a fraud accused is arrested. While most of the crypto platforms are being used illegally in India, officers have been asked to keep a “sharp eye” on criminals and recover cheated money at the earliest.